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Blood. 2003 Feb 15;101(4):1630-6. Epub 2002 Oct 10.

Transplantation of highly purified CD34+ progenitor cells from unrelated donors in pediatric leukemia.

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  • 1Children's University Hospital, University of Tuebingen, Germany.

Abstract

Unrelated donors are commonly used for hematopoietic stem cell transplants, but graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a major problem. We investigated whether transplantation of purified mobilized peripheral-blood CD34(+) stem cells from unrelated donors would prevent acute and chronic GVHD in pediatric patients with leukemia and avert the need for pharmacologic immunosuppression. Thirty-one pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL, n = 16), acute myeloid (n = 7), chronic myeloid (n = 6), or juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (n = 2) underwent transplantation. The median purity of CD34(+) cells after positive magnet-activated cell sorting was 98.5%. Patients received a median of 8.0 x 10(6) CD34(+) cells and 6 x 10(3) CD3(+) T lymphocytes per kilogram, with no posttransplantation pharmacologic immunosuppression. Primary acute GVHD > or = grade II was seen in only 10% of patients (n = 3) and occurred only after human herpesvirus 6 (HHV 6) infection. Two patients had limited chronic GVHD. Engraftment occurred in all patients (primary engraftment, n = 26; engraftment after reconditioning, n = 5). The 2-year survival estimate was 38% for all patients and 63% for patients with ALL in complete remission. Patients with myeloid malignancies had a poor outcome. In comparison to a historical control group who received unmanipulated bone marrow, our patients had a lower incidence of GVHD (P <.001). No difference was observed in the probability of relapse or survival. Study patients with ALL in remission showed a trend toward better survival (P =.07). Transplantation of purified peripheral-blood CD34(+) cells from unrelated donors effectively minimizes GVHD and may be a good therapeutic option for patients with relapsed ALL.

PMID:
12393439
DOI:
10.1182/blood-2002-04-1203
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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